Home Civil Society Voices Annulment of emergency ordinances must be tabled and voted upon immediately

Annulment of emergency ordinances must be tabled and voted upon immediately

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We, the undersigned civil society groups, call upon the government and the Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat to allow MPs to present, debate and vote on a motion to annul the six emergency ordinances before the sitting ends on 2 August so that the Dewan Negara may complete the annulment in its sitting from 3 August (Tuesday) to 5 August (Thursday).

In the unprecedented direct rebuke by the palace today, the alleged revocation of the emergency ordinances on 21 July by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Takiyuddin Hassan on Monday, 26 July, is now confirmed to be “inaccurate and misleading to the Members of Dewan Rakyat” by the palace.

It is now revealed that in the online audience on 24 July (Saturday) granted to both the minister and Attorney General Idrus Harun, the palace did not consent to the revocation but recommended that the emergency ordinances be tabled and debated for annulment.

The Speaker, Azhar Azizan Harun, or whichever of his deputies who presides over the meeting, must invoke Standing Orders 90 and 100 together with Standing Order 26(1)(m) to assert the House’s overriding authority and control over its own business, so that a motion to annul the emergency ordinances may be presented, debated and voted on immediately.

The Speaker’s earlier ruling for Takiyuddin to explain the matter is now invalid by circumstance.

Regardless of any change to the government and any of its ministers and senior officials, the annulment of emergency ordinances must be made the first item of the agenda from now on.

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The emergency ordinances must be annulled so that there is no doubt that they will not remain in force until 1 February 2022, ie for six more months, after the lapse of the emergency proclamation on 1 August as per Article 150(7) of the Federal Constitution.

Amongst them, Emergency Ordinance No. 6 carries compounds of RM10,000 and RM50,000 for violation of standard operating procedures while Emergency Ordinance No. 2 carries the maximum penalty of six years of imprisonment and a RM500,000 fine for any fake-news-related offence.

These emergency ordinances, as the emergency proclamation itself, were made when the Parliament was not in session. The ordinances must be debated and annulled in this sitting and not postponed to the next sitting in September.

We also support the motion by Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo to refer Takiyuddin to the Committee of Privileges for his unfounded claim of the revocation of the emergency ordinances.

The Speaker, or his deputies who preside over the meeting, must not taint the august House with more partisan and unprofessional rulings. The Speaker’s conduct over these four days has marked a phenomenally low point even by the diminished standards of the House since last July.

This statement is initiated by the Seed Community for a Professional Parliament, a network of individuals active in civil society organisations, think tanks and academia working towards a professional Parliament that facilitates healthy policy competition between parties.

Signed by:

  • Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0)
  • Engage
  • Bait Al-Amanah
  • Institute for Political Reform and Democracy (Reform)
  • Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas)
  • Persatuan Pengundi Muda (Undi18)
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